USFSP Partners With Police on New Internship

Police work is different these days. Like so many fields, law enforcement is developing ways to use new technologies to increase effectiveness and efficiencies.

USFSP Criminology student Timothy Saldibar shares a data mapping exercise with Dean Biafora.

USFSP Criminology student Timothy Saldibar shares a data mapping exercise with Dean Biafora.

The St. Petersburg Police Department is using technology to improve public safety perception, prevent or deter crime and  enhance the City’s social capital overall. Research skills, data mapping and analysis have become critical to the work.

Enter USFSP Criminology student Timothy Saldibar. Saldibar was selected to become the first IT Services intern with the St. Pete P.D. and as such, is working closely with senior crime analysts like Richard Ferner.

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Dr. Richard Ferner

“College students today are typically more adept at learning and using new and emerging technologies and the learning curve can be far less steep,” said Ferner, DBA, who is a senior management methods analyst with the St. Pete P.D. “Considering the challenges in today’s society, incorporating student interns and hiring college graduates can serve as an essential component of a broader strategy in both building and preserving a law enforcement agency that is equipped to deal with divisive issues, resource scarcity and general uncertainty.”

Ferner says that by the end of the internship, Saldibar will be able to work as member of a project team, and produce analytical reports and resources that promote situational awareness among officers in the field. He will have developed leadership skills that will provide a foundation for success in any chosen profession.

“The bulk of the credit for solidifying this important partnership with the St. Petersburg Police Department goes to Dr. William Ruefle in the USFSP Criminology program,” said Frank Biafora, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Over the past few years Dr. Ruefle and his faculty colleagues have updated the curriculum to include greater opportunities for students to gain valuable research, hi-tech, and hands-on training, preparing students like Timothy for a wide array of new career opportunities.”

USFSP Professor Presents Research at AERA

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Dr. AnnMarie Alberton Gunn

USFSP Assistant Professor of Education, AnnMarie Alberton Gunn, Ph.D., presented research at the national conference of the American Education Research Association (AERA) in Philadelphia. Gunn’s presentation, “Teacher’s Moving Forward on Their Self-Cultural Awareness Spectrum: Museums and Diverse Children’s Literature,” attempts to answer this research question:

Does participation in a multicultural children’s literature course that includes a cultural literacy civic engagement project with the FL Holocaust Museum influence students’ teaching pedagogy?

It would appear that it does. “Initial findings show that our graduate students, most of whom are practicing teachers, are looking for issues of inequity when developing their own lesson plans,” said Gunn. “In turn, we’ll know better how these social and political issues may impact K-12 students.”

Next semester, Gunn will continue to measure impact by visiting the classrooms of former students. “What’s exciting is that in analyzing diverse, multicultural issues, my students are feeling more empowered to teach,” she said.

“Dr. Gunn’s work is having a measurable impact on the teachers in the College of Education’s graduate programs,” said Vivian Fueyo, Ph.D., interim regional vice chancellor of Academic Affairs. “Integrating research in multicultural children’s literature with community engagement with the Holocaust Museum is a notable example of the applied research for which USFSP faculty are becoming increasingly well-known.”

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USFSP Professor Awarded Princeton Fellowship

— Dr. V. Mark Durand

USFSP Psychology professor Mark Durand, Ph.D., traveled to Princeton last week as a recipient of the highly regarded 2014 Princeton Lecture Series Fellowship. As a tribute to his career in the field of autism, Dr. Durand was selected to be a keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary of the Princeton Lecture Series on Autism, where experts are invited to present new findings and future possibilities for the treatment and awareness of this complex developmental disorder.

“This is an impressive accomplishment for Dr. Durand and an honor for USFSP,” said Vivian Fueyo, Ph.D., interim regional vice chancellor of Academic Affairs. “This award simply confirms what we’ve long understood — that Dr. Durand is one of this country’s leading authorities on autism.”

Durand’s body of work includes the publication of three books since November: “Sleep Better! A Guide to Improving Sleep for Children with Special Needs,” “Autism Spectrum Disorder,” which is aimed at helping clinicians screen for and treat the disorder, and “Abnormal Psychology: An Integrative Approach,” Seventh Edition, a textbook required by universities across the country. Yet a fourth book, the seventh edition of a second text, “Essentials of Abnormal Psychology” is due in the fall.

For his Princeton lecture, Durand drew largely from his research and the resulting popular book, “Optimistic Parenting,” which guides parents and teachers of challenged children on how to develop more positive thoughts and perceptions — a key ingredient of successful parenting and effective behavior management.

“Trying to change difficult child behavior is much more complicated if families are struggling themselves,” says Durand. “What we are learning is that confidence and optimism — having hope — are prerequisites to successful parenting.”

Florida Studies nature writing series planned at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve

USF St. Petersburg Associate Professor of English Thomas Hallock, Ph.D., is organizing a series of public readings and discussions at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve this spring focused on nature writing. They will read selections from their non-fiction work.

Associate Professor of English Thomas Hallock, Ph.D. | Photo by Aaron Alper, '12.

Associate Professor of English Thomas Hallock, Ph.D. | Student Photo by Aaron Alper, ’12.

Titled “Writers in the Preserve,’’ this three-day series is organized around the theme, “How Do We Find Nature in the City?”

The series is co-sponsored by the USFSP Florida Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences and Friends of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve. It is co-organized by Boyd Hill ranger Andrea Andersen.

On February 21, Hallock joins award-winning Tampa Bay Times writer Jeff Klinkenberg, journalist Cathy Salustri, a USFSP Florida Studies graduate, and Wendy Joan Biddlecombe, a staff writer for Hernando Today/Tampa Tribune and a USFSP journalism master’s graduate.

On March 28, poets Gianmarc Manzione, Gloria Muñoz and Brian Duncan will lead a poetry night hike through the Preserve.

The series concludes on April 11 with “13 Ways of Looking at a City: Community Gathering,” as writers, environmentalists and community advocates celebrate the natural and built environment of south St. Petersburg.

“This lecture series demonstrates the extraordinary talent at USF St. Petersburg and our commitment to engaging the community with provocative programming,’’ said Frank Biafora, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I commend Dr. Hallock for his creative leadership.”

Each event is free and open to the public and starts at 7 p.m. For more information contact Thomas Hallock at thallock@usfsp.edu or (727) 873-4954. Boyd Hill Nature Preserve (727-893-7326) is located at 1101 Country Club Way S. in St. Petersburg.

 

Former Mayor Rick Baker to be honored for civic leadership at Fall Commencement

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker will receive the Chancellor’s Award for Civic Leadership during USF St. Petersburg’s Fall 2013 Commencement ceremonies Dec. 15.

More than 400 students will receive degrees, and about 250 are expected to participate in commencement ceremonies.

The Chancellor’s Award for Civic Leadership is bestowed in recognition of outstanding contributions to the community. It is the most prestigious award granted by USF St. Petersburg and recognizes the institution’s strong ties with the community.

Baker will be honored for his commitment to education, the arts, diversity and economic development. Besides serving eight years as St. Petersburg mayor, Baker served as president of the law firm of Fisher and Sauls, chairman of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and vice president for economic development for USF. He is now president of The Edwards Group, which includes commercial real estate, hotels and entertainment.

“The vibrant and engaging city we all know and love today is the direct result of the visionary leadership of Rick Baker,’’ said USFSP Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska.

The Fall 2013 Outstanding Graduate Award will be given by the USF Alumni Association to Charles Matthew Hamm, a College of Business student who is earning a Bachelor’s Degree in the dual majors of Accounting and Finance. Hamm served as vice president of professional development for Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society, helping students transition from school to work. He also worked with the Poynter Institute to develop a professional writing presentation that was recognized by the Beta Alpha Psi national chapter. He plans to pursue a career in accounting.

The ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. at The Mahaffey Theater, 400 First Street S in downtown St. Petersburg.

 Here is a look at Fall 2013 Commencement by the numbers:

 406 Total number of graduates

327 Number of students awarded bachelor’s degrees.

79 Number of students awarded Master’s degrees.

250 Number of graduates participating in Sunday’s commencement.

4 Number of students graduating Summa Cum Laude

16 Number of students graduating Magna Cum Laude

18 Number of students graduating Cum Laude

2 Number of students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages.